02/27/2014, 00.00
INDIA

India, more than 900 sea turtles killed by illegal fishing

The animals become entangled in trawling fishing nets. The discovery was made on a beach in Andhra Pradesh. The olive ridley turtle lives in the Indian Ocean and reaches the coast to spawn.

Chennai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 900 olive ridley turtles were found dead on the beach in Nellore in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India. According to NV Sivarama Prasad, district forestry official, there hasn't been a massacre of these proportions in over 10 years. Found yesterday, the specimens were trapped in nets used for trawling and died of suffocation.

The Olive ridley sea turtle is a medium-sized sea turtle that is found in tropical and warm waters, especially in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean . In recent years, this species has declined considerably because of its fishermen operating outside the law.

"In India - says Supraja Dharini of the Chennai environmental organization Tree Foundation, committed to the protection of the turtles - vessels should fish eight kilometers from the coast. In this case we found that some were less than four kilometers from the beach, to trawl shrimp. This is how the turtles were trapped in their nets".

Every year between January and April, tens of thousands of Olive ridley sea turtles reach the southern coast of India to lay their eggs. The area where the beach is located in Nellore is rich in biodiversity and this attracts the species. In 2003, more than 3 thousand specimens were found dead on the eastern coast of Orissa.

 

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